2011 Kindle edition
|Publisher||Lulu and Kindle Direct Publishing|
|ISBN||978-1-4709-5663-9 Search this book on . (Lulu edition)|
Thirty Eight (Novel) is the debut novel by Chris Perkes, published initially as an eBook.
The novel conjures with a number of themes contemporary with the year 1938 and their interplay with the anti-hero, George Bradfield. Amongst these themes are:
- The world situation including the Italian occupation of Abyssinia and the German invasion of Austria and Czechoslovakia.
- A fictitious "Goldsmith Process" and parallel advances in real world science by Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn and others.
- An imagined group of English Dissenters called "The Night Watchman".
- A Liberal party in terminal decline after an unsatisfactory coalition with the Tories.
- Two talking cats alluding to comparison of the poems of John Milton and TS Elliot.
Style and influence
The keywords upon publishing forums allude to the influence of Kafka and Pynchon.
Perkes has clearly been influenced by Kafka, not least in chapter 2 ("Evening Trials") where the interrogation shares both the name and plot elements with The Trial. This influence is credited in the name of the senior police officer, Inspector Francis Kaye. Despite this, Thirty Eight cannot be described as "Kafkaesque", its outlook being essentially optimistic and its narrative conforming more to a traditional plot structure.
The Pynchon references are rather less clear. The chapter "Momenta" is an entertaining nonsense which makes an attempt at stream of consciousness without taking itself very seriously. In addition the character "Stickland", a mathematician and former sailor could be read as a nod to Pynchon.
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